Minimum wage is on the rise but so are prices across the Valley

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The new year poses new challenges for many businesses in California because minimum wage will increase from $9 to $10 an hour.

Casa de Tamales in the Tower District is among several valley restaurants which say they have no choice but to raise menu prices. "We've been trying to prepare for this for the past few months," owner Liz Sanchez said. "We knew right away at the beginning of the year we would have to take a small price increase so we'll definitely have to do that."

An 8 percent price increase is expected and 18 of the 23 employees here will see a minimum wage pay hike. Some as much as $2,000 a year. The salary increase is good for workers but a challenge for small businesses. "We're talking thousands of dollars on a monthly basis," Sanchez said.

Sanchez says she'll step up catering and delivery efforts.

Attendance at Fresno's Chaffee Zoo is on pace for another record-breaking year, but half the staff will be impacted by the minimum wage pay hike. "As that increases obviously it impacts our budget," CEO Scott Barton said. "For the first time in 12 years in 2016, we are raising the entrance fee to get into the zoo."

Adult admission will jump from $7 to $10. The children's fee will increase two bucks to $5.50.

"That's still a great value when you look at other zoos and aquariums across the country," Barton said.

Prices change on January 1 so you could actually save money by buying a membership at the current rate by Thursday.
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